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Browning A5 Wicked Wing 12ga Shotgun Review

shotgun review Sep 24, 2021



Howdy Y'all!

I heard that the weather over in Minnesota has stayed pretty warm when I've been away. I decided to bring the heat myself today with this hot, and highly requested review - The Browning A5!

I decided to splurge and go with the 12 gauge, Wicked Wing Edition to match my Maxus 2. The two guns are actually pretty comparable as well! ( Maybe a future shotgun showdown? ;)

I learned that the A5 has some cooler history to it though, dating all the way back to 1898! So if you want a quick history lesson, or love shotguns as much as I do, come along and hear all about the Browning A5 Wicked Wing 12 gauge!

The full in depth review is on my YouTube Channel (Target Focused Life) but if you prefer to read, here's a quick breakdown on paper.



  • This Browning is going for about $1,999
  • I was able to get it at REEDS SPORTS well below that (Check it out here)

 Quick Specs

  • 12 gauge (Kinematic Drive - Inertia operated)
  • 3.5" chamber (Not typically my jam but wanted to keep it consistent)
  • 28" Barrell (Some 26" and 30") 
  • 7lbs 5oz
  • Length of Pull 14 1/4" Out of the Box - Comes with shims to adjust
  • Drop at Comb 1 3/4" (Adjustable with shims)
  • The cast/stock is also adjustable
  • Drop at Heel 1/4" Adjustable to 3"
  • Runs Invector DS - Wicked Wing comes with 3 IS extended chokes (Looks like goose band - silver

Quick History!

  • Designed by John Moses Browning in 1898
  • Patent received in 1900
  • Manufactured (Originally) from 1900-1998
  • Browning redesigned and reintroduced the A5 in 2014
  • Current design is based of the original design
  • All operating components have been modernized and updated (Obviously)
  • FUN FACT - The action and barrel of the original A5 used to move forward, and back together to initiate recoil upon shooting

Ergonomics/Look & Feel

  • Feels moderately comfortable! I wish that it had more texture to the grips
  • Mounting up was a bit awkward - the top of the receiver is fashioned in a humpback style which made getting my face into the gun a bit more challenging. It looks great; just something to get used to
  • Receiver is drilled and tapped (Very versatile)
  • Controls are mostly oversized - Always a win for me. Only the Wicked Wing comes with the larger controls
  • I wish the charging handle was a bit larger, but I'd still consider it efficient 
  • Trigger guard was certainly a comfortable size  
  • Cross-bolt safety is rear-mounted and easily accessible - super easy to toggle
  • Fiberoptic front bead, ivory mid-bead (Once you're mounted, IGNORE THE BEAD!) 
  • I noticed its balanced nicely but a bit rearwards - inertia guns are typically lighter up front due to less components - Browning did a good job balancing this one out
  • The front side of the loading port is milled out - the rest is not, and kind of sharp
  • Stock and recoil pad is nice!
  • Overall, this is a great looking, unique gun!

Other Variations

  • 9 current production options
  • 19 special edition options
  • I love the variety of options here from Browning - I want them all!


  • 5lbs 7.5oz (Average)
  • Felt a bit heavier than I expected - feel was deceiving to true weight
  • I enjoyed the crisp pull of this trigger a lot
  • I believe it felt a bit tighter than it actually is because of how new I am to this gun, but it felt great!

Quality of Build

  • I always look at the quality of the build relative to the price. Everything comes together great! Very comparable to my Maxus 2
  • I'm in love with the wicked wing finish that Browning has to offer
  • My favorite point here is that Browning puts a 5 year, 100,000 round warranty behind this gun - I respect any manufacturer putting that much confidence behind their product 
  • Nickle Teflon coated bolt is awesome looking and easy to clean

Ease of Breakdown

  • As expected this inertia gun came apart simple with minimal parts - hats off to Browning for keeping it easy
  • This is nit-picky but I prefer trigger groups with one pin
  • Overall, very easy!


  • Noticeably harder recoil than my guns such as the Maxus 2
  • Its very manageable - appreciated that it goes right back into my shoulder vs. my face
  • Hunting loads certainly punch more than the target loads
  • As expected, the 3 1/2" loads can be a workout, but all around the recoil is quite manageable. 
  • Not as great as come gas guns, but impressive for inertia


  • From the shoulder this A5 pretty much tanked through every shot which made speed shooting go faster
  • It somewhat handled target loads from the hip and from over the head, but as expected, I had some hang-ups
  • I'm also not surprised buy some of these failures - this is a 3 1/2" gun shooting target loads and is brand new. With that said 3"+had zero issue. I also believe that there's a break in period on every gun so I'm not too discouraged
  • I believe that some of Browning's claims on reliability aren't necessarily true - they claim cycling through "hell or high waters'... unless you shooting target loads ;)

Speed Shooting

I find this evaluation valuable because it tests how all the moving parts really come together. From getting on target, having an appropriate trigger pull, recovering from the recoil, and cycling good enough to get back on target. 

  • The fastest time I could accomplish with the Browning A5 today was a 1.24 - I'm impressed with this time being that its a new gun that I'm not used to
  • Again, mounting up and getting the true feel of having that humpback posed a bit of a challenge
  • I was stoked with trigger feel and overall reliability. Recoil was not bad at all either
  • I also noticed the lighter front end giving me a bit more muzzle flip as well

In summary, there are so many things to like about this Browning A5. I simply cannot look at this gun and be completely upset with any part of it! It looks uniquely beautiful, has sustainable recoil and reliability, its built to last and you can definitely tell when shooting the Browning A5 

Would you like to see a head-to-head comparison with another semiauto shotgun?

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on so live the #targetfocusedlife


Stay Target Focused,


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